Jan 21, 2007 6:19pm
11/14/73: A Solo Grok Reaction
Okay, sorry (i think) for being self-indulgent, but i just finished a solo grok of 11/14/73, while most of this country's citizenry was no doubt glued to the tube. Here are my random and scattered and opinionated thoughts while grokking, as posted over in the Hollow:
Arbuthnot: For anyone interested ... i will be grokking 11/14/73 starting tonite at 6PM EST. It's pure casual, no stress sort of party, join or not, it's all good.
Arbuthnot: If anyone joins in, hey wonderful. If not, i'll be popping in and out of here from time to time.
Arbuthnot: And hopefully, SDH will not weild his absolute power and sweep the room clean!!
Arbuthnot: Six minutes to lift off.
Arbuthnot: 11/14/73 is a monster show, clocking in at just over three hours. The boys played the San Diego Sports Arena, exciting the crowd with the sorta energy and verve that seems more the norm than not for '73 shows
Arbuthnot: In fact, '73 just might be joining '69 as my favorite years. Of course, so much of it is just sweet and great, it's hard to just pigeonhole oneself into a particular time and era.
Arbuthnot: Two minutes and counting.
Arbuthnot: This show will be kicking off with Big Railroad Blues. Not one of my fave tunes, but this one ain't so bad really.
Arbuthnot: And so we begin!!!
Arbuthnot: The first set isn't bad. It's a fifteen song set, that has its share of gems: Jack Straw; Cumberland; Row Jimmy; Brown Eyed Woman; China > Rider
Arbuthnot: Oh yeah, how can i forget: Sugaree!!!
Arbuthnot: Love these earlyish Sugarees ... however, that song is several minutes away
Arbuthnot: Hey, anyone else ever purchase the Garcia album that brought us Sugaree, Deal, Bird Song, Loser ... some other tunes can't really remember right now.
Arbuthnot: I have the LP, and it's not really titled. Bought it used back in the mid-'80s. Probably one of the most expensive rock/pop albums i ever bought ... paid $40 bucks for it, which back then was a lot of money for me.
Arbuthnot: Jack Straw time ... Bobby and his dulcet tones, ha, ha.
Arbuthnot: Actually, for all the criticism that has been levied at Garcia and his voice over the years by people who obviously don't "get" the GD, Garcia has an incredibly unique voice
Arbuthnot: I liked his vocal sound from the first time i ever heard it.
Arbuthnot: Don't get me wrong, Bobby has a good vocal style as well, and i have no complaints at all about it.
Arbuthnot: And i've listened to so many GD shows over the years that when i hear Bobby sing, i say hey, that's Bobby, just as when i hear Garcia.
Arbuthnot: BUT ... Bobby's voice doesn't have the extra something to really draw me in, whereas Garcia has that sweetness of quality, that Garcia inflection ... and damn, like Sinatra, just pure joy to listen to.
Arbuthnot: Sorry ... one minute into Sugaree. A song i absolutely loved lots back in the day. I still love it of course, but it's appreciation has been supplanted by some of Garcia's other staples. But yeah, still a great song, and a real uplifting tune if done right.
Arbuthnot: In fact, i seem to really enjoy those Garcia songs that he performed with the GD and with his various side projects, songs like Bird Song, Ripple, Dire Wolf. Did Garcia ever play Valerie with the GD?
Arbuthnot: Which leads me to state that there are songs that are quintessentially GD songs, and songs that are more fitting as Jerry songs, or Bobby songs.
Arbuthnot: And probably why you won't find Garcia singing say, Eyes of the World or Wharf Rat with the JGB, because it's really a GD song, even if i do view Wharf Rat as one of the prototypical Garcia songs.
Arbuthnot: Love when Garcia wails with emotion ... you'll find this toward end of Sugaree, or especially Morning Dew.
Arbuthnot: Okay, Bobby song ... Mexicali. Not a fave of mine by any stretch of the imagination. And some might interpret this as my not appreciating the so-called "Mexican" or "Spanish" sound. However, this is so not true. I have been a long time fan of Spanish music.
Arbuthnot: Look, i've tried. Really. I just cannot get into Mexicali Blues. El Paso on the other hand, while i'm no fan of this song either, every so often i'll come across a version that works for me.
Arbuthnot: [i shall conjecture here that most of the country is now glued to their television sets]
Arbuthnot: [personally, i haven't owned a television for the greater part of my adult life, and even when i did own one, it was mostly used as a means to watch videos]
Arbuthnot: Comin' up on a 13 minute Here Comes Sunshine. Not overly familiar with this song, but i'll weigh in in a bit.
Arbuthnot: Oh yeah, some really groovy, jazzy sounds in this!!
Arbuthnot: Look, i know that there are tons of Brent fans out there, and peace to you and all that. But i'll take Keith over Brent any day of the week.
Arbuthnot: Man, i gotta burn this show to disk.
Arbuthnot: Which leads me to my next question: when you burn a show to CD, do you ever leave off songs?
Arbuthnot: I admit that i do. And i have absolutely no problem with doing so. There are those who will argue that its sacriligeous to do so. Well, i say to them, get a life and get real. Fact is, life is far too short for me to waste my time listening to something that i don't particularly enjoy.
Arbuthnot: Oh shit ... this is some sweet jamming in Here Comes Sunshine!! Woo Hoo!!!
Arbuthnot: Damn, i should listen to this song a bit more ... been depriving myself.
Arbuthnot: So far, no Donna wails.
Arbuthnot: Okay, gettin' ready for Black Throated Wind ... a very nice Bobby song, one which has grown on me in the past year.
Arbuthnot: "Bringing me down ..."
Arbuthnot: Yeah, this is one of the better Bobby songs!!!
Arbuthnot: [got an e-mail earlier today from a girl i was serious about back in the late '80s, early '90s, which isn't so strange because we've actually kept in touch since she decided to break it off. Fucking crushed me, and left me in the blue-est of moods for like a year. She's a lawyer nowadays. Back then she was so singularly cool and unique, i just loved the hell out of her.]
Arbuthnot: [hey, anyone here (ha, ha) ever get into George Thorogood? Pulled one of his shows offa DIME this week. I remember exactly where i was and what i was doing when i first heard him. I guess i was around 16 years old and walking home from high school, and met up with a sometime friend Billy Kelly, and he was carrying his "box" and blaring out of the speakers was George Thorogood. I was like, who is this? And he said, it's George Thorogood. Was hooked right then.]
Arbuthnot: Okay, near two minutes into Cumberland. Damn, you just have to love the jamming in this song!!!
Arbuthnot: Oh fucking yeah! The GD still had it in '73!!! What a year, what a band!!! Go, go, go!!!!
Arbuthnot: [anyone win Powerball last night?]
Arbuthnot: [not a gambling man myself, but i keep tabs on who won, and am always amazed at how many people who work in meat packing plants and the like win the lottery]
Arbuthnot: Okay, it's Row Jimmy ... and time to be reverential ...
Arbuthnot: Ya know, i never REALLY listened to Row Jimmy until 2006. And the song has become one of my fave Jerry songs.
Arbuthnot: Question: were there songs that the GD did more particularly with Donna in the band?
Arbuthnot: The Race Is On ... yawn.
Arbuthnot: [In 1973, George Steinbrenner & Co. bought the Yankees from CBS for $10 million. Oh yeah, i'd say that was a damn good investment on George's part.]
Arbuthnot: [Also in 1973, Tricky Dick Nixon is elected for a 2nd term, and LBJ gives up the ghost.]
Arbuthnot: Brown Eyed Women!! A song that, for me, has never grown old or tired. Just sweet good every time!!
Arbuthnot: Which isn't to say that every version i've heard hit the spot. But that on the whole, this is a good and tight, nice song.
Arbuthnot: [Also in 1973: Roe v. Wade; Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' (monumental in my opinion and i don't care what you think); the World Trade Center officially opens (watch the documentary ... it's brillaintly informing); Secretariat wins the Triple Crown of horse racing; the DEA is founded to the horror of deadheads everywhere, ha, ha; Bruce Lee dies]
Arbuthnot: Okay, near two minutes into BIODTL ... a good transition song when used as such, but otherwise okay overall, though every so often you'll come across quite excellent versions.
Arbuthnot: Just as an fyi, i'm taking a pass on Tennessee Jed ... gotta go refresh the drink, etc.
Arbuthnot: Oh yeah, also taking a pass on El Paso.
Arbuthnot: [Also in 1973: Watkins Glen (any of you oldtimers attend?); Jim Croce R.I.P.; Nixon declares, "I am not a crook!"]
Arbuthnot: CHINA > RIDER TIME PEOPLE!!! !!!
Arbuthnot: Turning volume way up!
Arbuthnot: Effin' sweet jesus, there's a reason why heads everywhere love China > Rider!!! And this is it!!!
Arbuthnot: Damn, Charlie Miller sure touched this show up real nice. That guy should be loved by deadicated heads everywhere!
Arbuthnot: In fact, i think sometime in the near future, we should have a Grok deadicated to Charlie Miller. Just a suggestion of course, but i'm in like sin!
Arbuthnot: Comin' up on the bridge into Rider ... sweet!
Arbuthnot: [I almost forgot, Pablo Picasso died in '73 ... any painters among the faithful?]
Arbuthnot: Just as an fyi, dr.flashback reviews this show, though his 'essay' is minimal at best. He bookends this show between two more stellar performances, 11/11 & 11/17, which i can't argue with since i agree, but like dr.flashback says, this show is a magic mushroom of sound; a lower vintage wine in a year that was very grapy indeed.
Arbuthnot: Around & Around ... not a bad song by any means, and this one is okay, but ...
Arbuthnot: Sixteen minute Truckin' ...
Arbuthnot: Truckin' (or Casey Jones) probably one of the first GD songs my generation heard, and while it never entered into the top shelf of my faves, these earlier versions do the trick.
Arbuthnot: "Livin' on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine" ... one of the great lines of rock.
Arbuthnot: In fact, the narrative of Truckin' is really what, in my opinion, brings greatness to the song.
Arbuthnot: And ya, the jammin' too!
Arbuthnot: Comin' up on TOO, and can't remember rightly how this one sounds ... much prefer the '68 & '69 versions.
Arbuthnot: But dang, these 1973 Truckin's sure were something else!! Groove on cat-daddy!
Arbuthnot: Nice ... real nice!!
Arbuthnot: Real smooth segue into The Other One ... couldn't ask for better.
Arbuthnot: And TOO kicks off real nice, no particular flaws to note.
Arbuthnot: [hey, just curious, anyone else here into the band Calexico? I've been giving them a listen last couple/few months and enjoying the hell out of their shows. I'm fairly certain they are downloadable here on the LMA. Or should i say, over on the LMA ... almost forgot where i was for a moment.]
Arbuthnot: Of course the possibility does exist that i might have a completely untrained ear for sound, but from my current perspective, i am really liking the sound on this TOO, despite the sorta less than stellar reviews that are given for this 2nd set jam sequence.
Arbuthnot: Well, of course it doesn't top '68 or '69 for sheer brilliance, but come on people, this one is actually quite good.
Arbuthnot: Big River comin' up in three minutes.
Arbuthnot: Not so sure how i feel about the more 'spacey' type of jams ... will have to put that thought aside for another day.
Arbuthnot: Big River in less than one.
Arbuthnot: Ha, ha, sounds like i'm building up to Big River, when in fact, i'll probably take a breather and come up for air.
Arbuthnot: For me anyway, lookin' forward to the Eyes and the Rat.
Arbuthnot: Assessment at this juncture: while this show is impressive to a degree, i rather think i'd go with one of the '73 gems next time for what has become a solo grok. However, having said that, in any other year, this show just might shine above the competition.
Arbuthnot: Oh shit, missed the first 3 minutes of TOO that follows Big River. But what can i say, i got a little hungry and heated up some of the shrimp & couscous that i put together earlier. Ever have couscous (i know, a real queer sounding name), but goes quite nice with some shrimp.
Arbuthnot: EYES OF THE WORLD!!
Arbuthnot: [Don't know if anyone hear actually "reads" poetry, but i've had a long-time love for the words of Theodore Roethke.]
Arbuthnot: Here's one i like:
Arbuthnot: CUTTINGS (later)
Arbuthnot: This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
Arbuthnot: Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
Arbuthnot: What saint strained so much,
Arbuthnot: Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
Arbuthnot: I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
Arbuthnot: In my veins, in my bones I feel it,--
Arbuthnot: The small waters seeping upward,
Arbuthnot: The tight grains parting at last.
Arbuthnot: When sprouts break out,
Arbuthnot: Slippery as fish,
Arbuthnot: I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath wet.
Arbuthnot: Damn, that recitation went quite nicely with Jerry's Eyes.
Arbuthnot: I remember reading a Hunter inteview, which i think i posted a portion of on the gd forum, where he talks about Eyes of the World, and how it seems to him, at the time of the interview, to be sort of dated, in the sense that the sentiments alluded to in the song are more for someone who is young rather than for someone who has passed through the majority of their life.
Arbuthnot: And now, the last segment of TOO.
Arbuthnot: Not much time left in this grok people ... just under thirty minutes!
Arbuthnot: I guess you could call The Other One a mini symphony
Arbuthnot: Not that i know anything about the compositions of symponys or orchestra music at all.
Arbuthnot: [think i spelled symphonys wrong ... forgive]
Arbuthnot: Cowboy Neil at the wheel ... personally, not a Neil Cassady fan.
Arbuthnot: However, i have essayed on the topic of Neil Cassady (and Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, etc.) elsewhere and i won't here bore you with the details.
Arbuthnot: And why you ask? Well, because right now Jerry is beginning Wharf Rat ... a truly spectacular piece of lyrical art that i bow to everytime.
Arbuthnot: This is a fantastic Jerry song ... and Jerry's emotions really come to the fore in this one!
Arbuthnot: Love the audience reaction too.
Arbuthnot: Jerry, if i may be so bold to state, really and truly possessed a sense of the infinite. Though not classically educated, his level of insight and intuition and innate ability to evoke an image or emotion was all part of his unique genius.
Arbuthnot: Which made him appealing to so many people. It wasn't just the way he musically expressed himself, though that is definitely key, it was the essence of the man, what he brought to the table as a result of his background and experiences, and his particular vision of life, the divine, and the whole creation of the Jerry persona.
Arbuthnot: I rank him up there with Sinatra in terms of cultural importance and appeal.
Arbuthnot: And yeah, i know that there are many that dismiss Sinatra, but i find that with deeper inquiry into their thinking, they just don't understand the man and his incredible importance to music and the culture of amerika in the 20th century.
Arbuthnot: Okay, end of Wharf Rat ... and for me the end of the show, since what is left is mostly Bobby mediocrity. However, i'll stick it out to the last notes of OMSN.
Arbuthnot: However, having said that, Me & My Uncle pleases more often than not.
Arbuthnot: For me, it's the best of the so-called 'cowboy' songs.
Arbuthnot: Even if i've heard it ten zillion times.
Arbuthnot: Well, not that much, but you get the picture.
Arbuthnot: Actually, GDTRFB comes up next, and sometimes i find myself digging that song.
Arbuthnot: But i don't even have to question OMSN ... sorry, it's a downer every time.
Arbuthnot: Okay, nice intro.
Arbuthnot: And hey, it's Jerry!!
Arbuthnot: Oh yeah, go Jerry!
Arbuthnot: Damn man, Jerry just so often makes a soul feel real good!!
Arbuthnot: And for anyone interested, Donna's presence in this show is minimal at best.
Arbuthnot: And look, i'm not bashing Donna ... just making an observation for anyone interested.
Arbuthnot: In fact, Donna with the JGB is quite another musical experience altogether and i recommend anyone interested to gather a nice collection of JGB shows in which Donna is part of the ensemble.
Arbuthnot: And now, finally One More Saturday Night ... a crowd rouser if nothing else.
Arbuthnot: Though i'll take U.S. Blues or Baby Blue or Breakdown Palace over OMSN.
Arbuthnot: Oh wait, here's a nice short jam that isn't so bad.
Arbuthnot: Edit: Brokedown Palace ... sorry, i type faster than my brain works.
Arbuthnot: Okay folks, there we have it, end of show: my personal grok of 11/14/73. And thanks to SDH for keeping chatzy open for just this sort of thing. Groove on!
End of chat as of Mon Jan 22 02:05:10 2007 GMT